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ROBERT GUYER

Managing Contract Lobbying: Arlington, Virginia May 24, 2022

“How many of your employers evaluate you for job performance?,” I ask every Lobby School class. All hands raise. This question is followed by, “How many of your organizations evaluate your contract lobbyist for job performance?” Perhaps, 10 hands raised in the last 22 years. Generally, having 0-5 years of experience, most Lobby School students …

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Senior Lobbyists Training New Lobbyists

Bringing Up a New Generation of Better Lobbyists. Thesis: conveying knowledge to better society realizes a basic public responsibility. Illustration: state constitutional obligations for free public education at taxpayer expense. Likewise, senior lobbyists passing our knowledge to the next generation of advocates will better novices’ professional lives, the process and quality of state lawmaking, and …

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Three Skills Development State Lobbying Workshops, May 24-26 Arlington, VA

Lobby School workshops are bootcamp-style, applied-skills State Government Affairs professional training. Each session (3@4-8 hrs) is supported by 1 or more Insiders Talk operations manual(s) (5@100-488 pgs) and class workbooks (3@50-100 pgs). Written materials provide participants with greater and deeper practice details than can be presented in the classroom. Novices “jump-start” their careers.  Veterans fill …

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Lobbyist Reconcile Conflicting Interdependent Worlds

Part of a lobbyist’s job is to mitigate political damage from impetuous, undisciplined principals acting independently of Government Affairs (GA). Below are examples of: 1) injuries to a lobbying campaign, 2) the principal’s behavior that caused the injury, and 3) lobbyist mitigation of the injury. In all cases, meaningful GA-C-suite communication could have avoided these …

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How Good a Client Are You? A Job Performance Evaluation Instrument for In-house Lobbyists

About one-third of my students’ employers hire contract lobbyists. Students occasionally comment, “We pay our [expletive deleted] contract lobbyists too much [expletive deleted] money for the [expletive deleted] service we get.” When I was a novice in-house lobbyist I felt the same. But the root of our problem is simple: most of us were just …

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Lobbyists advocate. That’s what we do. Seldom do professional advocates pick and choose their advocacy topics. The C-suite assigns issues to in-house lobbyists. Clients, especially long-term ones, assign issues to their contract lobbyists. In this blog I consider how lobbyists can maintain their sense of personal decency while promoting issues: 1) in which they do …

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“Lobbying is a dance of seduction…”

  … our DC lobbyist advised regarding our industry association’s effort to get Congress to “occupy the field” in the regulation of our products. We wanted one federal program to preempt an expanding “patchwork” of inconsistent, conflicting, and difficult to meet state laws. Federal preemption was indispensable to our problem-solving. As chair, at the time …

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Political Responses to Technical Facts (updated)

(Updated from December 6, 2021) Technical facts and data, indispensable to executive agencies, are often discounted in legislative policymaking. “Political Responses to Technical Facts” (v2) guides technical experts to become more aware of the political process. The legislative process is procedurally logical but often fact-based irrational. A lawmaker knowingly discounting my technical advice said, “In …

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Why and How National SGA Efforts Succeed

National state government affairs (SGA) lobbying initiatives can succeed at least 70 percent of the time when designed, implemented, and managed around the concept that lobbying is legislative sales. I say this even amidst the swelling and profound politico-cultural differences among red and blue states. There remains too much national commonality and consensus as to …

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Client Oversight of Contract Lobbying Services

A household name organization[1], employing contract lobbyists in dozens of states, just hired me to train its state and national staff in overseeing contractor-provided lobbying services. Home office State Government Affairs (SGA) leadership expects increased involvement with lobbyists and lobbying campaigns: 1) will improve ROIs on lobbying fees and political capital; 2) achieve better, more …

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A Statute Is the Starting Gun, Not the Checkered Flag in Phase II of Capital Lobbying

“Most of the people in the state of Illinois, and I think this is true across the country, are much more affected in their daily lives by operation of the administrative and executive part of government than they are by 90 percent of the bills [of] the General Assembly.” Former Illinois Governor Dan Walker [1] …

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In Praise of State Legislative Lobbying

Google “lobbyist” and lobbyists’ ill deeds fill the first several pages of query results. Google’s first non-paid listing is, “The Best Books on Lobbying – Five Books.” I’ve read three of the five, none optimistic for our profession. These results explain the joke, “Don’t tell my mom I’m a lobbyist, she still thinks I’m a piano player in a whorehouse.” [1] I don’t know …

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Insiders Talk - How to Get and Keep Your First Lobbying Job

Advice for New Lobbyists: Are You Resolved to Protect Your Integrity?

If you don’t know what you are going to do before you run into a compromising situation, then you’ll probably make a bad decision. A long-term lobbying career is built upon reputation. Having worked for governments, corporations, and universities, I have found that legislatively enforced ethical expectations for honesty, accuracy, and credibility somewhat shield a …

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